I woke up this morning 4 pounds lighter! While that’s kinda cool, it’s also I sign I didn’t hydrate and refuel properly. More on that later.

My morning started at 5am when I woke up before both my alarms. I took advantage of the extra half hour to play around with where to pin my memory/support ribbons.


I doubled up my handmade Boston Strong ribbon and my Melanoma Awareness ribbon and attached to the phone case on my SpiBelt.


Remembering a friend’s loved one on the anniversary of her passing by attaching this handmade ribbon with her initials to my shirt.

I showered and got dressed, took the pooch out, had a soft pretzel and some coffee and water and headed out at 7:45 to drop the pooch at my friends’ house.

About an hour later I was parking my car about 1/2 mile from the runner entrance. (It’s a huge plus to live on Staten Island for this event). There was added security this year which I was happy to see. Then on I went into the start village!


beautiful autumn day


the calm before the frenzy

I knew from running in 2011 that the start village area is crazy! There are 40-50,000 people—half of whom are from other countries and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to meet up with all my running peeps. (they all traveled on the ferry) I texted a few but the reception was probably a bit on overload. I did manage to connect with a FaceBook friend Kevin (from a running event group) and so I just put my phone in airplane mode to preserve battery and we hung around talking, taking pictures and trying to stay warm. It was very windy.

if only the goodwill truck and random flats of wood and metal railing weren't in the picture. #photographerfail

if only the goodwill truck and random flats of wood and metal railing weren’t in the picture. #photographerfail

It was much easier to stay calm this time around. In 2011 I was as nervous as a bowl of jello. It was my first full marathon and I really didn’t know what to expect. Probably not a great idea to run the largest marathon in the world for your first?! Go big or go home I suppose. Oh wait, I WAS home. LOL!

When Wave 4 started, Kevin and I stayed with the 4:45 pacers. I was being really bold as my current PR is 4:48 and that is on a fairly flat course. My plan was to stay with them until the halfway point (on the Pulaski Bridge) and then re-assess. I knew there was a 5 hour pacer behind me that I could fall back to. (yup the exact opposite of what they tell you to do at the pace table at the expo.)

The course itself:

Miles 1-2 The Verrazano Bridge: Well if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know how I love my VZ Bridge


summer of 2013. heading to brooklyn for a run.


October 13th, 2013 My last 20 mile training run

I got to run on the upper level which made me giddy. (did you see the video I posted yesterday?) I’ll never forget these miles. My first mile was 11:03 which was the uphill and my second mile 9:55 on the downhill



Miles 2-12 Brooklyn: Staying with the pace group seemed to be the right choice. I was in a groove keeping splits right around 10:40 for these miles. Most of this stretch is fairly flat and straight and there is the most amazing energy from bands and spectators. I was loving it all except the aid stops. The pacers weren’t really slowing down much through the aid stops and while there was plenty of pre-poured cups of gatorade the water seemed to be more in demand and I found myself standing there and waiting for a volunteer to pour water from a gallon container into a cup to hand to me. But i was feeling so energetic that I’d speed up to catch up to them.

Miles 13-16 Pulaski Bridge/halfway point thru Queensboro Bridge: I was smiling and running and enjoying the even splits still around 10:40 and as I crossed over the Pulaski Bridge I decided to get in front of one of the photographers. I leaned to the right to make sure he saw me and although I got a cute shot, I felt a twinge in my lower back that never left. (It’s still a little sore this morning). #dumbmove


Hey! I’m 1/2 way done!

Mile 14 was relatively uneventful. Then it was time to start climbing the Queensboro Bridge. It was at this point that I finally saw the 4:45 pace group pull away. I had already stayed with them for longer than I wanted and I decided to take my first walk break. I had 10+miles to go and knew I needed to be smart. It was quite wild on that bridge. An international running group pushing a disabled runner came by singing in a language other than english and it reminded me of how so may people come from so far to be a part of this. I took a little video. Check it out here.

Miles 16-20: First Avenue: I actually kept decent splits for most of these miles. Slower but not like I was out of gas, just a little less energetic. I got to see a former coworker Marissa. She grabbed this pic of me.

Thanks Marissa for getting this one of me on 1st Ave just past mile 17

Thanks Marissa for getting this one of me on 1st Ave just past mile 17

When you come off the Queensboro bridge you enter 1st ave which is nicknamed the “of sound”. It’s a hot spectator spot and it goes for miles literally! I can’t begin to tell you how many people screamed my name.

Mile 20-23: Willis Ave Bridge/Bronx/Madison Ave Bridge: I actually started to have a mini “crumble” just as I was approaching the “wall” that they say runners hit at Mile 20. But I knew my good friend Elvia was there in her Super-Rican costume with her posse and an amazing special aid stop with coca cola and peanut m&m’s. I got to see Colleen and Cindy too! It was a nice little happy reunion to snap me out of feeling the “crumble”


NO WALL! Coca Cola and a little reunion with friends!


Super-Rican Elvia! Representing mile 20 with style!


So now I just had to get back into Manhattan via the Madison Avenue Bridge and bring it home. You know if you read this post that I finally decided to use my ipod and couldn’t get it to work. So I drew my strength again from the crowd.

Miles 23-26.2: Engineer’s gate entrance into Central Park to the Finish: MiI started to cry as I entered the park. I put my hand over my face and just sobbed. I was overcome with emotion (I’m ALWAYS overcome with emotion. LOL) I was exhausted and there was some sort of cramp happening at the quad muscle right above my knee that left me unsteady. I kept thinking my leg was going to give out. There was a photo op spot and I just decided to be overdramatic document how crappy I felt. I call this my “ugh-shot”.


I looked at my watch and then at mile marker 24 and realized if I could just hang on to a sub 12 pace for 2.2 miles I’d break 5 hours!!! (my B goal). Well, that was it…I was off! I even got to see my cousin and her son at the last stretch before the finish. Totally a lovely surprise.

I did it! I finished in 4:57


deer in headlights look….i’m starting a trend

I only took in half my fuel during the race (i had 2 packs of sport beans but didn’t eat the bag and a half of Honey Stinger chews) and switched it up between water and gatorade at most aid stops. I’ve just come to the conclusion that I hate to fuel while running. Whatever. I’ll deal.

Now it was time to exit the park. I chose the “early exit” option that allows you to bypass the gear bag pickup. Unfortunately it wasn’t really an early exit. They still made us walk up to 77th street when the family reunion area was down at 66th street. (and I was meeting my dad at my cousin’s apartment on 64th street). But we got our nifty poncho’s which really did keep me warm.

zombie poncho walk

zombie poncho walk

Post race my appetite really didn’t come until 10pm! (I finished just before 4pm). So I had an apple, some carrots with hummus, a few crackers with cheese, some homemade spanikopita that my cousin made, some seltzer, tea and a glass of wine.


started with seltzer


then moved on to wine

By the way, I need to give props to this product!


My first chafe-free marathon! Thank you Mission 5-hour Anti-Chafe Cream 

Now if i finished 4 minutes later I don’t know what would have happened. LOL!

So an amazing accomplishment happened yesterday. My friend Lisa (the Lisa who inspired me to start running in the first place (go check out this video to learn our story) completed her 50th marathon yesterday AND she PR’d!!!! 4:52!! I wanted to give her big props!!!!

Lisa and Sally running in January of this year.

Lisa and Sally running in January of this year.

Today I finally got my appetite back. Woke up at 5am and made eggs and turkey bacon. Then for lunch I took care of replenishing my sodium at lunch.

Sweat Out the Salty Stuff

Sweat Out the Small Stuff…Sweat in the Salty Stuff!

So there you have it! Now I’ve got to recover and be ready to run a half marathon on Saturday.

Question: What are your favorite post race meals?


  1. UGH I can’t believe I never saw you. I tried texting you on SI, but same deal, didnt go through. And I also kept switching mine to airplane mode. But Sally, I was on the bridge with those guys singing with the lady in the chair! We were on the bridge together!

    THANKS! for the PROPS! very happy. 🙂

    • Marissa said you were about a minute ahead of me but I just assumed that was her way of saying a few minutes in front of me. I don’t think I could have sped up my pace to catch u though. But it’s so crazy that we were THAT close to running together. Out of 50,000 runners. lol!

  2. So in awe at what you ladies have accomplished!
    Being there to witness your runs is almost as good a feeling as running it.
    Let there be coca cola and chocolate! Oh and donut holes….huge hit at mile 20.
    #inspired to run

  3. Sally thanks for sharing the journey and photos and enjoyed running with you and the race team for at least 20KM of the race….

  4. Congratulations! I got emotional just *watching* people run- I can’t imagine how you must have felt as you were finishing. And the zombie poncho walk photo is sooo surreal. Hope you enjoy some well deserved rest days 😉

  5. OMG you got some totally adorable pictures and then the UGH picture I actually LOVE that too!! HA it’s exactly how a marathon goes for everyone, highs and lows followed by holy crap I did it again! Thanks for your sweet comments today and congrats on breaking the 5 hour goal!

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